Tennis elbow returns to haunt Yuki again

Yuki Bhambri retired 1-4 from his pre-quarterfinal match against Li Zhe of China in the $50,000 men’s Challenger tennis tournament.

A file picture of Yuki Bhambri in action.

The elbow pain returned to haunt the country’s No.1 singles player Yuki Bhambri who was thus forced to retire at 1-4 from his pre-quarterfinal match against Li Zhe of China in the $50,000 men’s Challenger tennis tournament in Guangzhou on Friday.

‘’My elbow is hurting again. So, unable to continue’’, said the 23-year-old Yuki who later conceded his doubles quarterfinals, partnering Saketh Myneni, to the top seeds Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana of Thailand.

Yuki, who was ranked a career-best 88 last year, had walked into the Australian Open without preparation because of a “tennis elbow”. He continued to struggle before winning the doubles title with Mahesh Bhupathi in the Delhi Open Challenger. He made the semifinals last week in China and looked in prime fitness while helping ONGC to clinch the individual and team titles in the PSPB inter-unit tournament in Delhi a fortnight ago.

Saketh Myneni, ranked 156, lost his way from the brink of victory and was beaten in about two hours by Zhang Ze of China, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 in the pre-quarterfinals. The 28-year-old Saketh had beaten the top seed Taro Daniel of Japan in three sets in the first round.

The other leading Davis Cuppers of the country, Leander Paes and Somdev Devvarman progressed in a Challenger and ITF Futures event respectively in the U.S. Paes, with partner Lukas Rosol of Czech Republic, made the doubles semifinals. Somdev entered the singles quarterfinals with a 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over 1763rd ranked qualifier Lucas Renard of Sweden.

National champion Sriram Balaji’s campaign in the $10,000 ITF Men’s Futures in Egypt came to an end in the singles pre-quarterfinals and doubles quarterfinals.

The results:

$125,000 Challenger, Irving, US: Doubles (quarterfinals): Lukas Rosol (Cze) & Leander Paes bt John-Patrick Smith (Aus) & Michael Venus (Nzl) 6-2, 6-4.

$50,000 Challenger, Guangzhou, China: Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Zhang Ze (Chn) bt Saketh Myneni 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2; Li Zhe (Chn) bt Yuki Bhambri 4-1 (retired); Doubles (quarterfinals): Sanchai Ratiwatana & Sonchat Ratiwatana (Tha) w.o. Yuki Bhambri & Saketh Myneni.

$25,000 ITF men, Bakersfield, US: Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Somdev Devvarman bt Lucas Renard (Swe) 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.

$10,000 ITF men, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt: Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Clay Thompson (US) bt Sriram Balaji 6-4, 6-4. Doubles (quarterfinals): Kvin Lynch & Clay Thompson (US) bt Karim Mohamed Maamoun (Egy) & Sriram Balaji 5-7, 7-6(4), 10-5.

$10,000 ITF men, Nishi-Tokyo, Japan: Singles (quarterfinals): Soon Woo Kwon (Kor) bt Sidharth Rawat 6-0, 6-4.

$10,000 ITF men, Hamamet, Tunisia: Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Baptiste Crepatte (Fra) bt Sasi Kumar Mukund 7-5, 6-4.

$25,000 ITF women, Irapuato, Mexico: Doubles (quarterfinals): Akiko Omae (Jpn) & Prarthana Thombare bt Dalma Galfi (Hun) & Aleksandrina Naydenova (Bul) 3-6, 6-3, 10-6.

$10,000 ITF women, Hammamet, Tunisia: Doubles (semifinals): Alice Balducci & Claudia Giovine (Ita) bt Polina Monova (Rus) & Snehadevi Reddy 6-2, 6-4. Quarterfinals: Polina Monova & Snehadevi Reddy w.o. Sara Gimenez (Par) & Daniela Macarena Lopez (Chi); Alice Baludcci & Claudia Giovine w.o. Naomi Totka (Hun) & Kyra Shroff.

$10,000 ITF women, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt: Doubles (quarterfinals): Veronika Kapshay (Ukr) & Karin Kennel (Sui) bt Nidhi Chilumula & Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy 6-3, 6-4.